Fergus Elias, Head Winemaker for Balfour Winery at the Hush Heath Estate comes from a dynasty of English winemakers. With Fergus’ father, Owen being a renowned English winemaker, having spent nearly 30 years in English wine picking up the winemaker of the year no less than 4 times!
So, you would think wine was the natural path for Ferg to follow, not so. Instead Ferg went to study Ancient History at the University of Liverpool, and was set to pursue a law career! Fortunately for Balfour Winery he saw sense and returned to wine. Fergus has been an integral part of the Balfour wine team for the last 7 years, taking on the role of Head Winemaker in late 2019, after 3 years as assistant- making him one of England’s youngest ever Head Winemakers. Whilst mastering the trade, Fergus also completed an MSC in Viticulture and Oenology and uses this knowledge to assist with his work on the Sustainability Board for WineGB.
Ferg released his first own label wine, This Septered Isle, 2018, as part of the Balfour wines first ever winemakers collection which was released in 2019 and was awarded a silver medal at the 2019 IWC for his efforts. Whilst we know Ferg is on course to become one of England's finest winemakers, his talents do not stop at winemaking, he is a keen poet, Cricketer, chess player, and general wordsmith, for those who have visited the Balfour Winery, you may have seen Ferg's teams uniform carry his mantra of 'crushing grapes, not dreams'.
Stylistically Fergus looks to make wines with texture, complexity and body, which are not the standard hallmarks for English wines, so we know exciting things are to come from Fergus and Balfour Wines.